Back in May we talked about the top 30 baby names of 2018 so far. Well, since then, the list has shuffled a little and new ones have been added.
Let’s have a look at how the list fairs now.
30. Grace (new in)- Girls name. The meaning of the name Grace is Charm. Grace is of Latin origin.
29. Theo (new in)- Boys name. The meaning of the name Theo is Divine Gift. Theo is of Greek origin.
28. Harper (down 13) – Unisex name. The meaning of the name Harper is Harp Player. Harper is of English origin.
27. Archie (new in)- Boys name. Archie is short for Archibald. The meaning of the name Archibald is Truly Bold. Archie is of English origin.
26. Aria – Girls name. The meaning of the name Aria is Solo Melody. Aria is of Italian origin.
25. Henry (new in)- Boys name. The meaning of the name Henry is Ruler of the Home. Henry is of German origin.
24. Emily (new in)- Girls name. The meaning of the name Emily is To Strive Or Excel Or Rival. Emily is of English origin.
23. Oscar (new in)- Boys name. The meaning of the name Oscar is Deer Lover. Oscar is of Irish origin.
22. Lily (new in)- Girls name. The meaning of the name Lily is Lily Flower. Lily is of English origin.
21. Alfie (new in)- Boys name. The meaning of the name Alfie is Counsellor. Alfie is of English origin.
20. Isla (new in)- Girls name. The meaning of the name Isla is Island. Isla is of Irish origin.
19. Freddie (new in)- Unisex name. The meaning of the name Freddie is Peace Ruler. Freddie is of American origin.
18. Sophie (new in)- Girls name. The meaning of the name Sophie is Wisdom. Sophie is of French origin.
17. Charlie (new in)- Unisex name. The meaning of the name Charlie is Free Man. Charlie is of English origin.
16. Charlotte (down 3) – Girls name. The meaning of the name Charlotte is Free. Charlotte is of English origin.
15. Leo (new in) – Boys name. The meaning of the name Leo is Lion. Leo is of Italian origin.
14. Ella (down 7) – Girls name. The meaning of the name Ella is Young Girl. Ella is of Spanish origin.
13. Harry (new in) – Boys name. The meaning of the name Harry is Army Ruler. Harry is of English origin.
12. Isabella (up 11) – The meaning of the name Isabella is God Is My Oath. Isabella is of Italian origin.
11. George (new in) – Boys name. The meaning of the name George is Farmer. George is of Greek origin.
10. Mia (up 9) – Girls name. The meaning of the name Mia is Of The Sea Or Bitter. Mia is of Scandinavian origin.
9. Logan (up 15) – Unisex name. The meaning of the name Logan is From The Hollow. Logan is of Irish origin.
8. Ava (up 17) – Girls name. The meaning of the name Ava is Like A Bird. Ava is of Latin origin.
7. Jacob (down 1)- Boys name. The meaning of the name Jacob is Supplanter. Jacob is of Hebrew origin.
6. Sophia (up 15) – Girls name. The meaning of the name Sophia is Wisdom. Sophia is of Greek origin.
5. Jack (new in) – Boys name. Jack is the diminutive form of John or Jackson. The meaning of the name John is God is Gracious. (Hebrew origin). The meaning of the name Jackson is Son of Jack/John. (English origin). Jack is of English origin.
4. Amelia (up 13) – Girls name. The meaning of the name Amelia is Work. Amelia is of Latin origin.
3. Noah (up 25) – Unisex name. The meaning of the name Noah is Rest, Peace. Noah is of Hebrew origin.
2. Oliver (up 24) – Boys name. The meaning of the name Oliver is Descendant Of The Ancestor. Oliver is English origin.
1. Olivia (up 25) – Girls name. The meaning of the name Olivia is Ancestor’s Descendant. Olivia is of English origin.
That’s an awful lot of changes in just four months! The top two names in May were Michael and Zoey which are no longer in the top 30! I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks by the end of 2018!
Which name is your favourite this time around? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Most people know that sleep deprivation has an unfavourable effect on our mood. Long periods with little or no sleep will also effect our well being and general state of mind. Healthy sleep habits, often referred to as having good sleep hygiene, can make a big difference in your quality of life. However, if you are a parent then you’ll know what it’s like to have little to no sleep, but babies will be babies and toddlers will be toddlers so the best thing you can do is follow these sleep practises the best way you can.
1. Maintain a Relaxing Bedtime Routine.
When you set a routine that relaxes you before getting into bed, you will realise a better quality of sleep. Keeping the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends, will help to regulate your body clock and get a sound and deep slumber. Around one hour before bed, avoid all digital sources including phone, laptop, TV or tablet (I know! I am bad for this too, but it will help if you are struggling to sleep). Dim any bright lights and try to relax your mind by reading a book or taking a warm bath. Have a soothing drink like chamomile or hot chocolate and when you climb into bed you will be ready for a good night’s sleep.
2. Exercise During the Day
It is a well known fact that exercise helps to ward off stress and anxiety, which are one of the biggest contributing factors to lack of sleep. Although vigorous exercise is best, a brisk 10 minute walk every day will release hormones and improve your rest. Plus you can always take your little one with you if needed.
3. Make Sure Your Room is Right
You may need to make some slight changes to your bedroom, depending on your circumstances. Check that the room is cool, it should be around 15.5 and 19.5 °C (between 60 and 67 °F), and also dark. Try using a blackout blind to eliminate any light, or an eye mask. It should also be quiet, at least until the baby wakes! If possible, try white noise like a fan or humidifier, or ear plugs. You need to make sure you can still hear your child if they wake though so use this advice with caution.
4. Check Your Mattress and Pillows
Having a comfortable mattress and pillow is very important. They must be supportive and if you are tossing and turning all night, it could be time for a new one. The life expectancy of a good quality mattress is around 8 or 9 years. Anything older than that needs replacing.
5. Avoid Naps
We’ve all been there. Dropping off in the middle of the afternoon because the night before was such a terrible nights sleep. A power nap might get you through the day but it will just cause the adverse effect later when you can’t fall asleep at bedtime. Napping creates a viscous circle you need to avoid.
So there you have it. My top 5 tips for a restful nights sleep. Of course, this doesn’t account for the toddler standing by your bed until you are woken by his/her presence and getting freaked out a-la horror film. Why do they do that? But at least the tips will help get you to that place. Hopefully!
Disclaimer: I am not a sleep therapist or a doctor of sleep etc. My tips are just via research on google. Please don’t shout at me if you still can’t sleep!
Just a quick post today since I am super busy knitting things for my brand new reps! Hooray!
Some of you might have known already that I have been advertising for a couple of mini reps to help me promote my Spring / Summer ’18 range. I have been posting this little picture about to entice people!
It happened to work and I got lots of people entering their super cute babies and toddlers to help me out!
In face, it worked a little too well as I was completely spoilt for choice when it came down to picking and I had to really nit pick to choose my final three. It’s not something I’m very good at, telling people that, although their baby is absolutely beautiful, I can’t use them this time around. I hate letting people down. But I put my business woman head on, roped in my partner, Terry (who can be pretty brutal when he wants to be) and narrowed them down to this lovely few.
One of my first choices was Makayla. She is 5 months old and lives all the way in New Zealand. This scared me at first. I’ve shipped to NZ before and it takes almost a month from the UK. They must send things there in a rowing boat! But she is so cute and beautiful that I couldn’t resist. I’m working on a few things for her now since she will have the longest wait for them. I’m so excited to see her in the items! You can see more of Makayla on her mum’s instagram @Ophelia_kkkk
Next up we have Lennon, a 4 month old from the UK. What a total sweetie he is! I have so many plans on things to make him that I don’t know where to start! I have to find the perfect colours to set off his big eyes and gorgeous smile! You can find him on his mums account @_jadebowden
Finally we have Rose. Rose was entered with her twin brother Frazer. They are both so cute and I was gutted that I had no spot for Frazer to fill. I have a new design especially for someone like Rose though, so she needed to be on board. She is very beautiful and cute to boot. You can find her on instagram @little_Rose_buds_big_life or with her brother @Frazer_and_Rose
I am knitting day and night to get these guys some items to wear so keep checking back and hopefully you’ll see some new things very soon!
I can’t believe we are already in May! This year seems to be ticking over quickly and it’s already time for another guest blog! This time from Loretta at True Love Keepsakes. Loretta makes beautiful customised jewellery with fingerprints and hand stamps etc. I’ll leave it to her to tell you all about it.
I’m delighted to be a guest blog on for the lovely RowRow and Kades, thanks for having me as part of their 5,4,3,2,1 Guest blogs!
Hi, my name is Loretta and I’m the owner of True Love Keepsakes, a business I’ve been running now since 2014!
I’m a Londoner born and bred but moved to Birmingham almost 11 years ago for Love. I fell in love my Brummie, called Richard, who was already a Dad at the time to an almost six year old little boy called Joshua who lived with Richard full time. I couldn’t ask Richard to uproot his son from his family, school and familiar surroundings to come and live with me in London so I took the plunge, left my job as a teacher in a Primary School, found another teaching job in Birmingham and in the Summer of 2007 made the move up to the second city.
Fast forward to 2018, I can say I’m pretty settled in this city now and this is home to me especially after giving birth to my son in 2011, this is now his home too and this city has captured my heart.
My 5,4,3,2,1 Things are based on some info about me and my business, they’re in no particular order but all are important to me!
5: One of My Biggest Achievements
Graduating with a 2:1 honours degree in Fashion Design with Business in 2000. I was so proud that three years of studying had paid off. I ventured straight away into the world of fashion and beauty, working for two PR companies in London’s West End, before realising it wasn’t for me and I needed to do something that I enjoyed doing every day. I left that industry, took a two week placement in a school, loved it and went on to study a Post Graduate in Primary Education, became a Primary Teacher and as they say, ‘the rest is history!’
4: Becoming a Teacher
I can remember my first official day as a Newly Qualified Teacher, walking into my Reception class to be greeted by 30 small faces staring back at you waiting on your every word and relying on you to give them the best start to their education. It was nerve wracking to say the least, I soon got used to it and 13 years later, I still love this job which I now do as a Supply Teacher whilst growing my business.
3: Becoming a Mum
I had been Step-Mum a number of years before deciding to have a child but nothing prepares you for this wonderful experience and journey. It is by far the most challenging thing I’ve had to do and at the same time the most rewarding. There truly are no words to describe the immense love, sense of protection and responsibility you feel when you bring a little person into this world. It truly changes you as a person and you see the world with a different set of eyes, everything you do, you have your child at the forefront of your thoughts, their presence never leaves you.
2: Why Keepsakes?
Well, my son is my one and only and when he was a baby, being a first time Mum, I was so surprised of the changes I would see on a weekly basis, his growth, his facial changes, his overall development seemed to happen at lightning speed!! I sometimes would wish I could stop the hands of time just to savour that moment that detail, that first smile, those tiny, perfect fingers, those cute feet. I took lots of photos and prints of his hands and feet to preserve those memories as much as possible. In 2013 after spending a year returning back to full time teaching, I decided to leave as I felt that something had to change. I was desperate to spend more time with my son, he was growing and changing so quickly I felt that the time and effort I was putting in at my job was at the expense of being the Mum I really wanted to be for my son. After doing a lot of research into franchises not liking the huge financial commitments, I was lucky to come across The Keepsake Association which I am now a proud member of. I trained in Fine Silver Keepsakes and The Keepsake Association gave me a huge amount of support to launch my business and still offer me business support to this very day. I can now say I am the proud owner of chains and bracelets, containing the precious prints of my son’s fingerprint, handprints and footprints, something that I can treasure forever.
1:What’s behind the name?
I chose True Love Keepsakes as my company name because having a child made me realise what True Love really is; what it really feels like and what is means. I, like all parents, love their children deeply, we care and raise them with so much passion and determination to do right for them so that they can have the best life possible. Creating precious memories for other parents is what I’m passionate about, knowing that I can create something so that they have a piece of their children with them always, is what drives me to continue growing my business.
Thank you so much to Loretta for her guest blog. Her love for her son shines through so much!
Choosing a name for your little one can be hard. Whether you start brainstorming from the minute you find out you are pregnant, or if you leave it right up until the delivery day, just knowing that you get one shot at getting it right makes it feel almost impossible.
Let’s take a look at the top 30 names of 2018 so far.
30. Liam – Boys name. The meaning of the name Liam is Strong-willed Warrior. Liam is of Irish origin.
29. Emma – Girls name. The meaning of the name Emma is Universal. Emma is of Latin origin.
28. Noah – Unisex name. The meaning of the name Noah is Rest, Peace. Noah is of Hebrew origin.
27. Olivia – Girls name. The meaning of the name Olivia is Ancestor’s Descendant. Olivia is of English origin.
26. Oliver – Boys name. The meaning of the name Oliver is Descendant Of The Ancestor. Oliver is English origin.
25. Ava – Girls name. The meaning of the name Ava is Like A Bird. Ava is of Latin origin.
24. Logan – Unisex name. The meaning of the name Logan is From The Hollow. Logan is of Irish origin.
23. Isabella – The meaning of the name Isabella is God Is My Oath. Isabella is of Italian origin.
22. Mason – Unisex name. The meaning of the name Mason is Stone Worker, Brick Layer. Mason is of French origin.
21. Sophia – Girls name. The meaning of the name Sophia is Wisdom. Sophia is of Greek origin.
20. Elijah – Boys name. The meaning of the name Elijah is The Lord Is My God. Elijah is of Hebrew origin.
19. Mia – Girls name. The meaning of the name Mia is Of The Sea Or Bitter. Mia is of Scandinavian origin.
18. Lucas – Boys name. The meaning of the name Lucas is From Lucania. Lucas is of Greek origin.
17. Amelia – Girls name. The meaning of the name Amelia is Work. Amelia is of Latin origin.
16. Ethan – Boys name. The meaning of the name Ethan is Firm, Strong. Ethan is of Hebrew origin.
15. Harper – Unisex name. The meaning of the name Harper is Harp Player. Harper is of English origin.
14. Aiden – Boys name. The meaning of the name Aiden is Little Fire. Aiden is of Irish origin.
13. Charlotte – Girls name. The meaning of the name Charlotte is Free. Charlotte is of English origin.
12. James – Unisex name. The meaning of the name James is Supplanter. James is of Hebrew origin.
11. Mila – Girls name. The meaning of the name Mila is People’s Favor. Mila is of Slavic origin.
10. Carter – Unisex name. The meaning of the name Carter is Driver Of A Cart. Carter is of English origin.
9. Aria – Girls name. The meaning of the name Aria is Solo Melody. Aria is of Italian origin.
8. Alexander – Boys name. The meaning of the name Alexander is Defender Of The People. Alexander is of Greek origin.
7. Ella – Girls name. The meaning of the name Ella is Young Girl. Ella is of Spanish origin.
6. Jacob – Boys name. The meaning of the name Jacob is Supplanter. Jacob is of Hebrew origin.
5. Avery – Unisex name. The meaning of the name Avery is Elf Ruler. Avery is of English origin.
4. Sebastian – Boys name. The meaning of the name Sebastian is Venerable. Sebastian is of Greek origin.
3. Layla – Girls name. The meaning of the name Layla is Night, Black. Layla is of Arabic origin.
2. Michael – Boys name. The meaning of the name Michael is Who Is Like God?. Michael is of Hebrew origin.
1. Zoey – Girls name. The meaning of the name Zoey is Life. Zoey is of Greek origin.
What is your favourite name for your baby? Or what did you name your child/ren? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Hello everyone! It’s been a whole month since my first guest blog from Boy and Bear and now it’s time for the next one! This month, the very lovely Catriona from Cat’s Dance School popped by to tell me all about her 5,4,3,2,1 Things. Over to Cat…
Hi, I’m Catriona aka Cat from Cat’s Dance School, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Whilst I did go to dance college and train to be a dancer and dance teacher my education and career are a little more complicated than that…well why do the same as everyone else?!
I have a Royal Academy of Dance, Dance Teaching Diploma and Registered Teacher status (Ballet) and was one of the last people to get to train for the Teaching Diploma. I also have an Associate Teacher qualification with The Imperial Society of Teacher of Dance (Modern and Tap). However, I then decided to have a slight career change and train to be a Primary School Teacher but decided to get a degree and then do the PGDE Primary Teaching as this would take one year less to achieve (big skiver I know!). So, I studied Events Management, because who doesn’t want to be a wedding planner, then the PGDE.
So, basically I can plan and manage your wedding, teach you a wedding dance and then educate your children until they are 14, whilst teaching them dance!! Oh and I recently completed NHS breastfeeding peer support training and can support you on your breastfeeding journey if that is what you choose!
Meanwhile, I met the boy of my dreams (yes my husband is 9 years younger than me but tells me he keeps waiting for me to prove that I’m the grownup!), got married and we have a bump due April when our two daughters will be 3 and a half and two!! Who needs sleep…it’s overrated anyway!
So, here are my 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Things:
1. My mum and dad are my biggest inspiration. They always encouraged me to follow my dreams whilst thinking about the realities of how I might sustain myself. I am trying so hard to be the kind of parents they have been to me by teaching my children how to fail and how to pick yourself up and try again or find a new path when unsuccessful.
As a dancer I was never your typical ballerina figure, nor did I have the ideal feet for it, but that did not stop me achieving my dream of becoming a Royal Academy of Dance, Dance Teacher. My parents were there behind me every step of the way and I don’t think I’ve thanked them enough, so thank you mum and dad from the bottom of my heart.
2. My beautiful girls inspire me with their own brand of crazy! They fill our lives with such fun and madness that I wouldn’t change for the world. They are the reason I get up in the morning and stay up so late working on the businesses. If they’re not stripping at the window to sunbathe naked then they can probably be found climbing in or up something they really shouldn’t be!
3. Callum (my poor husband) inspires me every day with his ability to put up with my nonsense!! He has definitely learned the art of selective hearing but when I need to sound something out he is there for me. He is a self-employed electrician and is such a proud daddy to his two girls. He inspires me with his ability to be such a friendly and approachable electrician when he’s always telling me he hates people and is a self-confessed hermit!
4. My dancers are a constant source of inspiration. Currently I have sixteen year olds who are nearly ready to sit their Advanced 1 Tap and Modern exams. This is a big deal as these are the equivalent of second year of dance college and they are only attending dance classes part time. I also get inspired by the teeniest dancers who have the biggest imagination and sense of awe and really get involved in the imaginative dances we do. I get such immense satisfaction from teaching all my dancers from the babies to the horrible teenagers (they know I love them really)!
5. Last but not least, I’m inspired by other working mums who run businesses from home. It amazes me how creative and productive other work from home mums can be. However, those mums that have immaculate homes with no giant pile of washing and dishes freak me out…I mean who has time to be fastidious and awesome mums, business owners and wives?! I’m a firm believer in piles! It’s like to do lists which are my other favourite!
I have recently found a really supportive online group of entrepreneurs and it inspires me how there is always someone online to give moral support or advice when needed. I really get inspired by women building up women. This is how it should be, I think, not this trend of trolling and ripping other women for their choices.
4 Tools That I Love To Use
1. I am definitely about to show my age but OMG I love digital music because when I started dance teaching I seriously used to humph around a huge bag with a CD player and a big case of CDs! At one point I had a wheeled suitcase with my boom box and another bag with books, shoes and CDs. Now I have my little speakers that are so loud and an ipod or my phone for music. How life has changed…yes I am getting old.
2. Pointe shoes are still one of my favourite tools of the Ballet trade. I’m so glad that I don’t need to wear them anymore but I love getting to train young dancers how to use theirs and dance through the pain! Pointe shoes are a feat of engineering and if you ever have a spare moment to google how pointe shoes are made I’m sure you’ll be as amazed as me too. I do miss getting to tie ballet shoe ribbons, there is something very special about wearing a beautiful pair of satin ballet shoes with ribbons.
3. Props! What dancer doesn’t love props? Especially ones for little ones like scarves and wands. My new Dance With Me parent and baby classes have meant that I have got to buy new props for class and I just love my little finger puppets and the ballerina dollies. Props are not just for wee ones and my teenagers also love the big silk scarves for Ballet and getting to have props in the dance shows.
4. A wall. Yes, a wall! A good wall can help a dancer get into the splits. I often use the wall to assist with splits training. Dancers can lie on the floor and use gravity to help their legs get into the box splits or stand on one leg and push one leg up the wall into the splits. I also like to occasionally use the wall and a slidy bit floor to practise jumps. These are always good fun and the dancers love to have a ‘race’ to see who can push/jump the furthest away from the wall!
3 Things That Make My Work Unique
1. My dancers. My pupils make my work unique as they are all individuals with individual temperaments, strengths, weaknesses etc. No two classes are ever the same and this is one of the reasons that I got into dance teaching as I loved the idea of never having two days the same. I love that my dancers want to tell me about the things they’ve done outside of dancing and even when it’s something that’s stressing them out I feel such a sense of privilege that they want to tell me about their lives outside of dancing.
2. My work hours. I start teaching after school finishes so work late then often do paperwork in the evening after a late dinner. This way of working really suits me as I’m not a morning person, although I can’t work as late now that I have the girls to wake me up nice and early (she says typing this at 3am!). It makes me sad when I’m working and miss the bedtime routine but I always get my morning snuggles so that almost makes up for it.
3. Me! Although I have other teachers that work for me who influence the dance school I think I am one of the things that make Cat’s Dance School unique. I love the immense sense of satisfaction I get from teaching a child how to dance (or an adult). When I see a child grasping a step that they’ve struggled with, learning a choreography or shining on stage I know all the hard work is worthwhile. I love to teach them that it’s ok to not be the best at everything and to get inspiration from others that can do something better than them because that dancer will also be learning from them. Healthy competition, positive feedback, learning to fail, high expectations, belief that each dancer can achieve high standards, and cultivating a love of dance, is what keeps me so passionate about dance teaching. Other dance schools might teach RAD Ballet and ISTD Tap and Modern and all the other styles of dance we teach but they don’t have crazy old me at the helm.
2 Mistakes I’ve Made In The Past
1. Wow where do I start?! Who has only made two mistakes, not me that’s certain. I think the biggest mistake I made was to forget to market my dance school while retraining as a Primary Teacher and having my beautiful girls. I got lazy because word of mouth had always been the thing that worked best for me. But the advance of technology and all the online forums and groups were sadly neglected by me and my school has shrunk as no one knows I’m here! However, I’m making amends now and I’m learning all about online marketing and I am getting much better with using technology to my advantage. I forgot that I was key to the dance school. I had such fantastic teachers working for me that I forgot that I needed to steer the ship and keep it on course. My rebrand from Catriona Hogg School of Dance to Cat’s Dance School and the launch of the Dance With Me parent and baby classes, combined with my new marketing skills will hopefully see a growth in pupil numbers this year as people find out what awesome things we get up to.
2. Leaving things to the last minute! I am the queen of procrastination and I can often be found doing an all nighter to get something done that I put off to the last minute. The worst is probably when I leave printing to the last minute because inevitably my printer starts running out of ink or I run out of paper! I once left my programs for the dance show printing overnight and when I woke up I realised I’d printed the fronts twice so I had to re do a whole batch so that they had both the outside and inside of the program! I also recently printed a batch of fliers with a spelling mistake, oops! Must remember to leave time for proof reading.
1 Project I Am Proud Of
1. I am very proud to have launched my own baby dance classes, Dance With Me. I secretly love teaching the babies the best (shh don’t tell the older girls!) and have always wanted to have classes for children even younger than my preschool classes. I have loved getting to plan the lessons and have used my Primary Teaching knowledge combined with my Dance Teacher knowledge to produce classes that have educational elements of numeracy and literacy in line with the Curriculum for Excellence and also introducing dance skills. I have been told that when I teach the younger dancers I become a whole other person…I think that’s a compliment to put alongside the one when I was told I should be a childrens’ TV presenter! It’s early days but I really hope to expand these classes and maybe even have some in the local nurseries once bump is born and is a little bigger.
So, I’m a little crazy (who isn’t?), love babies and have a whole lot of love for teaching dance. I’m inspired by people who build people up and try to do the same in my daily life. I wouldn’t trade all my daily madness for the world and am eternally grateful to all those who keep me going.
Thank you Kelly for this opportunity to think about my business from a different angle and I hope my honesty might help others push on and find a different way if at first they don’t succeed or to be proud of their house piles because it’s like a to do list!! If you live in Edinburgh or the surrounding area feel free to check out my awesome dance school.
Thank you so much to Cat for her really lovely blog post and all her craziness! I’m just happy to know I am not the only one with little “to do list” piles around my house!
I really hope you are enjoying the 5,4,3,2,1,Things series so far. We’ll have another one in April.
Buying a gift for a baby shower can sometimes feel like a difficult quest. Just what can you get that will be special and valued but functional and useful? Here are my top 5 gift ideas that are both practical and have lots of sentimental value too.
1. Baby clothes in larger sizes
When a new baby is born everyone loves to buy the tiny baby clothes but new parents get so many in that size that they sometimes can’t even get to use them all before the baby has out grown them. Buying a few sizes bigger is a great help. Get the 3-6 months instead of the newborn size. Or even 6-12 months to be really prepared. A selection of outfits in all the sizes up to 12 months would be so special and amazingly helpful. Just remember to think about the time of year you are buying for. I had some beautiful shorts and t-shirts bought for my son when he was born. They were in 6-9 months which I thought was fantastic at first. Until I realised that he would be 6-9 months old during November to January, the coldest time of the year here in the UK. As a result, he never wore them.
2. Home cooked meals for a month
One of the best ideas I’ve heard was a group of baby shower guests organising home cooked meals for the parents. Each guest writes their name in a calendar for the first month after the babies due date. Then, during their week, or couple of days, (however you want to split it), they bring a home cooked meal to the new parents home so they can eat it or freeze it. When dealing with a brand new baby, cooking for yourself and your partner is just an added chore and you end up neglecting yourself at a time when you need the most energy. It’s such a thoughtful way to help the new parents and get to see the new baby too!
A baby blanket is one of the handiest things to buy. They are great from the very start of the baby’s life and can still be useful years down the line. My son still has all the baby blankets bought for him and he is almost 2 years old. He uses them during his afternoon nap and loves to snuggle with them while watching the TV. They are a great gift for longevity.
4. Treats for mum
Once baby arrives, couples just don’t get as much time together and no matter how much you love your baby, you need some alone time to keep your relationship healthy. A restaurant meal and booked in baby sitter can be a perfect present. Organise for grandparents to give them the night off or even offer yourself!
Other mums prefer a bit of pampering. So a prepaid massage or pedicure can be amazing.
I know through my pregnancies, a pregnancy pillow was a godsend during the last couple of months. A V shape pillow is perfect for placing between the legs while sleeping, to add comfort and ease pressure. It also doubles up as a feeding pillow after the baby is born.
If you know the mum to be will be breastfeeding, a good book is a great gift. Breastfeeding can sometimes take a long time and I know in the early days I felt like it was all I was doing. With my first child I read all the Harry Potter books while breastfeeding him. My second child got me through most of the Game of Thrones series. It’s definitely an idea opportunity to catch up on reading!
5. Specially made hats, booties, cardigans and blankets for the baby.
These items top the list in most polls for favourite baby shower gifts. Mums really appreciate the care that goes into something which is handmade. I know when I make something for a customer, I don’t just rush it and get it finished as soon as I can. I painstakingly check for any mistakes I might have made (and if I find one I will pull out the work and fix it, even if no-one else would know it was there). I make sure my loose ends are weaved in really carefully so they (hopefully) won’t wiggle free, and I check everything for every tiny detail so I know it is to the best of my ability before it is placed in the box. This is nothing like what you buy from mass-produced shops. Handmade is very special.
So there you have it. My top 5 baby shower gifts. Have a missed any you think should be included? Or have I helped you in the struggle of what to buy? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!
When I first started making baby clothes I knew I should make use of my own child, drag him into the world of modelling for me and make him wear hats, even though he hated it. What a terrible mother! What I didn’t realise was just how much he was going to love it and what a little poser he would become!
Rowan was really small when I started out, and I didn’t actually start taking photos of him until he was already 1 year old. I don’t know why. I just avoided it and thought it would be difficult. I regret that now but I still have the other photos to look back on.
He couldn’t stand unaided when we began so they were all of him sitting on the bed and my partner, Terry, (Rowans Dad) trying to keep him still. I’ve blogged about his wiggling before here! He’s difficult to keep still and get the good shot, but we have a lot of fun chasing him around!
I recently released a new hat called Chunky Jo. It is a bonnet style hat, knitted in chunky yarn, with a huge pom-pom at the back. I made it in Rowans size first, since I knew I wanted him to wear one. We’ve had it a little while and I’ve taken him on lots of walks to get a few sneaky photos of him, but they just haven’t worked out.
Then a couple of weeks ago I decided to take him out and make it specifically for the hat photos. No distractions, just a walk with mam and dad and wear a hat.
He had the best time!
We would stand him with Daddy and I would run away. He would have to catch up to me while I was busy taking the photographs. I had so many photos at the end of it that I was spoilt for choice.
One thing that amazes me about it all is that since uploading the photos I’ve had a few comments on the fantastic photography, and the skill I obviously have (!) I saw that the photo had been pinned to photography boards and it seriously blew me away that people thought this was something I was proficient at! I literally crouched on the ground and let me child run to me while I took photos with my phone! But I’m definitely not complaining. A great photo can travel far so I’m thrilled people like them so much!
So I guess this blog post is really just to show you how much fun Rowan has on photo shoots, and that I’m not a terrible mother dragging my child into slave labour! Also I think we can easily forget that if you use the resources you have, nothing needs to cost you the world. Most things are right there at our fingertips.
So I will see you next week with my first guest blogger! Judith from Boy and Bear is kicking off a new monthly post with 5,4,3,2,1 things about her and her business. You’ll have to pop by next Monday to see what it’s all about! See you then!